Chesterfield: Attack is the first line of defence for boss Paul Cook

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Paul Cook will continue to work with some of his attacking talent in a bid to make them more effective when the opposition is in possession.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s play-off semi-final against Preston North End, Spireites manager said: “The likes of Dan Gardner and Gboly Ariyibi have got to learn this side of the game, they’re such exciting talents. Sam Clucas can do it, Eoin Doyle was good at it, Ritchie Humphreys does it, these guys seem to automatically drop into the right areas of the pitch naturally, but sometimes offensive players have to learn that, but having these players gives us a very exciting squad.”

Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner

Cook had been saying ahead of last Sunday’s fixtures, he expected a final surprise and Preston’s defeat at Colchester provided it. The boss said: “Preston had been on such a good run, 18 unbeaten, and Simon (Grayson) and his staff have assembled an outstanding team. MK Dons achieved 90 odd points and they deserved to go up.

“In my opinion three teams deserved to go up, the two that did plus Preston, but that’s the nature of the game. Preston will pick themselves up and turn up in force on Thursday.”

Whilst Preston may be the team no-one wanted to play, Cook is pleased for the fans that they have a weekend second leg: “We’re in a cup semi-final now and I’m delighted the second leg is on Sunday lunchtime, that’s much better for our supporters than a Monday night, sometimes I don’t know what the people that organise these things are doing, they don’t give fans the credit they deserve.”

Drew Talbot’s hamstring strain will keep him out of the two clashes but he could feature should Spireites make it through to Wembley.

In my opinion three teams deserved to go up, the two that did plus Preston, but that’s the nature of the game

Paul Cook

Tendayi Darikwa swept up at the club’s Player of the Year Awards winning the Supporters vote, the Players’ Player of the Year Award as well as getting the nod from Chairman Dave Allen.

Allen said: “Tendayi’s come through the academy and it’s vital that we keep investing in this area to produce more players like him. Defenders don’t always get the credit they deserve at awards nights, but he’s been hard working and consistent throughout the season and deserved all of the awards and praise he gets.”